VIDEO: Soar Over Pluto in This Bird's Eye Tour

September 21, 2015 | Sarah Tse

Pluto Surface Flyover
Photo credit: Stuart Robbins / NASA

NASA combined the latest images from New Horizons's flyby of Pluto into a stunning animation that gives us a glimpse of the dwarf planet's majestic and distinct surface features.

New Horizons continues to send back data from its historic flyby of Pluto, including some gorgeous, high-resolution images of the dwarf planet's surface. Stuart Robbins, a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, decided to stitch together some of these images and render them onto a sphere. He created the following animation to give those of us stuck on Earth the experience of flying low over Pluto. 




The animation begins over the Norgay Montes, a mountain range that rises about 3 km above the surface, and then pans north over the Sputnik Platinum and Cthulhu Regio, the light and dark areas on the left and right sides of the screen, respectively. Then the view rises to a height of about 240 km and moves east towards the Tombaugh Regio, and finally ends at a height of over 2,500 km, where the entire globe is visible. Read Robbins's original blog post here.

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